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Intelligence Testing Article Analysis

Essay by   •  August 17, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  779 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,430 Views

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Intelligence Testing Article Analysis

Intelligence tests have a history of being culturally biased. Previously they have favored people from urban areas. There is also controversy about the validity of IQ tests among different cultures because all cultures may not understand or use the same types of reasoning. Early intelligence tests also favored people who were from a higher socioeconomic status and not those of the lower class status. The earlier intelligence test also focused on people who were white rather than minorities. This paper will review several articles that are related to intelligence testing.

The definition of intelligence varies among cultures (Rogoff, 1990). An example of the differences among cultures and the way they view intelligence is European Americans think of intelligence in technical skills terms whereas people from Kenya consider intelligence to be active participation in family and social life. Another example of the way the culture of Uganda views intelligence is they believe someone is intelligent if they know the right thing to do and then they follow through with the right actions. Another example of the variations on how intelligence is viewed from culture to culture is the Latmu people from Papua New Guinea, they believe people who have the ability to remember 10, 000 to 20,000 clans are intelligent. The people of the Carolina Island believe that individuals who can use the stars to navigate are intelligent.

Intelligence testing can be very culturally biased at times. A great example of how intelligence testing can be cultural biased is the example of Gregory Ochoa. While Gregory Ochoa was in high school he and his fellow classmates were all given an IQ test. Gregory did not speak or understand very much English and at home he only spoke Spanish therefore Gregory did not understand what most of the IQ test was asking him because of a language barrier. Gregory did very poorly on the IQ test and when the test results came back he was placed in special education classes for students who were mentally challenged. There were many students in Gregory's special education class that also had many others with Spanish last names such Gonzales and Ramirez. Gregory Ochoa began to lose interest in his school after being placed in the special education classes and he eventually dropped out of high school. After dropping out of high school Gregory joined the Navy where he began to take classes and earned his high school diploma. After earning his diploma Gregory went to San Jose City College where he was an honor student. After college Gregory became a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.

As a result of cases just like Gregory Ochoa's case researchers have tried to develop intelligence testing that can more accurately determine an individual's intelligence. Culturally-fair tests have been developed for the purpose of eliminating cultural bias. There are two types of culture-fair tests that have been developed. The first culture fair test includes questions that would be familiar to people from all socioeconomic groups and ethnic backgrounds. The second type of culture-fair intelligence testing removes all questions that are verbal.

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